Painting the Streets of Mzansi Purple
Thousands of men in purple speedos take part in the ballsiest, bravest run to date…
15 October 2021 – What started twelve years ago with one brave soul running through peak hour traffic in a speedo to raise awareness about cancer, has since become a nationwide phenomenon. Usually held as a mass participation event in Johannesburg, today saw the first ever COVID-edition national Hollard Daredevil Run 2021 take place around the country.
The event, which raises funds towards prostate and testicular cancer awareness and screening, saw runners taking part countrywide dressed only in a purple speedo.
“This is a run with a difference that makes a difference. The Hollard Daredevil Run has been a highlight on the South African social calendar since 2009, attracting thousands of brave men from all walks of life to do their part to raise awareness about male cancers,” says Heidi Brauer, Chief Marketing Officer at Hollard.
“At Hollard, we like to do things differently, to be bold, brave and ballsy. The act of stripping down to nothing but a speedo is not only challenging for runners, but also challenges stereotypes about male cancers. It takes courage to strip down to a speedo and run in public – but that’s the whole idea,” she says. “The Hollard Daredevil Run challenges South African men to confront male cancers head-on by showing that they’re not afraid to run in a speedo, not afraid to talk about cancer and not afraid to get checked.”
Far from being limited to the streets around Zoo Lake in Johannesburg, this year the event attracted participants from every corner of the country. This included the involvement of individuals, high schools, universities, corporates, running clubs and fitness associations. Celebrities who supported the cause today also included rugby player Danny Kriel in Hilton; South African singer, songwriter, and record producer King Monada in Tzaneen; and international sports conditioning specialist, performance coach and JEFF Fitness founder, Johno Meintjes in Cape Town.
While the new format of the event this year was all about smaller groups and social distancing, the reach and support achieved far surpassed any expectations.
From teams participating in rural villages and communities, a team of game rangers running in the Kruger National Park and Parliamentary runners taking part in Cape Town to a team in the Kalahari Desert pounding the roads of Kathu, the Hollard Daredevil Run 2021 reached far and wide.
The uptake by so many high schools and universities this year reinforced the power of young men rallying together to spread important cancer awareness messaging. This is particularly relevant given that testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men aged between 15 – 39, and can affect men of all races. The survival rate of stage 1 testicular cancer can be as high as 100%, making early detection and prompt action vital.
Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer and is on the increase. According to global research, one in every six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, with the risk of prostate cancer increasing with age. Early diagnosis can mean a 95% chance of being cured.
Most South Africans know someone affected by prostate or testicular cancer. The bottom line is that early detection saves lives. Any members of the public wanting to support these purple cancer warriors can go to www.daredevilrun.com to donate further funds towards cancer awareness and screening initiatives.